With promotions on the line, beware rivalries that could result in sex bias, harassment

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Here’s a twist in discrimination law that you might never consider. If a co-worker rivalry for an open position includes threats by one worker to quit if the other is promoted and the rivalry is based on sex bias, you may face a lawsuit if you accede to the threat. That’s what happened in one recent case that made its way to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Recent case: Martha worked her way up the ladder at a university’s police department. She began as an on-the-beat police officer, earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, became a sergeant, lieutenant, captain and, finally, a major. When the chief of police retired, opening up the position, Martha believed she was a strong candidate for the job and applied.

Meanwhile, the department decided to hire an interim police chief until a full and complete search could be completed.

That’s where Martha’s rival comes in. A man was appointed to the interim post. Soon, she ...(register to read more)

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